Well, as usual I’ve misplaced an important paper. I’m not, as they say in the trade, a happy camper. (I’m not sure which trade uses that expression, but it sounded good.) I’ve obviously mis-filed it. I’ll start looking through files and such on my next day off.
I’m running out of ink too. What HP charges for its ink is close to criminal. Bad HP, BAD!
We posted a rough draft of a chapter over on our history blog a few days ago. I’ve read and re-read that chapter. As posted it’s pretty much trash. Oh, the research is good, but it presents poorly. Identifying the problem has been difficult. I found plenty of small things. I moved some material to footnotes. I deleted bits. I rewrote a few paragraphs. I changed some phrasing and added sub-headings. One good bit was expressing six hundred and sixty dollars spent in 1876-1879 in terms of 2011 dollars. Now that’s something that would knock your socks off, buster!
Guess how much … just guess … that the original 660 dollars is in today’s terms. If one calculates by Gold conversion to modern dollars, it’s over fifty thousand dollars. What a huge differential! It gets worse. If one expresses it in terms of skilled labor income that 660.00 becomes over 150,000 dollars! Dear Lord and all his nearly microscopic creation! At least it shows just how committed to his beliefs the person was who donated the money.
But … the main problem was illusive. I hate illusive things, unless I’m the one creating them. (Poor Harry! He suffers from my propensity to puzzle.) So, what to do? I shoved the rough draft, all fifty marked up pages, into a file folder and took it to work. After the financials just after 2 am, I have a quiet period that lasts until about 6 am. I wander around, check on things, make myself busy, get bored, eat cheese cake if I can beg it off the night chef, and do stuff. Instead of doing all that, I read the chapter through two more times.
The problem was right in front of me little nose all the time. My writing partner and I have been adding drips and drabs of things since the first write through. We do that all the time. You find new things; you add them to the appropriate chapter. We wrote and re-wrote this longish section on the early issues of a magazine and its controversies. It’s good I think, or it is now. When we stuck that into the rough draft we displaced an entire section, moving it down a number of pages. We made that worse when we added some other material. The reason it didn’t read well is this displacement. The solution was to move it back where it belonged. I do not know why it took me so long to spot that. Clueless author here!
So, anyway, I’ve been at a fix and re-write since ten am. It’s now two-thirty and I’m stoppin’. I emailed my W. Partner and suggested moving something we’d planned for a later chapter to the end of this one. That’s unwritten. He thinks that’s a good idea, but writing that will have to wait while we take on other things.
We spend a lot of time in “hurry up and wait” mode. We’re waiting on two people who are interested in an archive in New York. We’re waiting on three librarians. One of these I’ll poke in a few days. As far as I’m concerned the New York Public Library is iffy when it comes to questions asked of them. We have someone searching for issues of a newspaper called Our Rest. So far we’ve located two issues, neither of which we can afford. We have someone trying to find funding for a very, very expensive digitalization of a tabloid sized magazine. No word on that yet. The boys in Brooklyn still haven’t answered my Writing Partner’s letter. It has to work its way through layers of things, I’m told. At least we haven’t gotten a ‘no’ yet, though I expect one.
I figure that we could spend about twenty thousand dollars in short order if we had it, just acquiring material. As it is, other than some welcomed but fairly small contributions to our effort and some freebies from kind librarians (I always tell them we’re poor scholars), we spend out of our own pockets. I wish there was a better way.
I’ve spent two years seeking about 18 months worth of one religious paper. It simply is not to be found. There are many things like that. We know they were published. They were ephemeral and most of them saw limited circulation. It’s more surprising when we find something like that then that we can’t find it. (I’m not sure that sentence made sense. Live with it. I’m not fixing it.) As I write this, an unexplored approach occurs to me. That’s something my WP would have to undertake. (He knows people I don’t.)
I was off on an “anti” site today. I think we need to address an outrageous statement made there. I know just how to do that. If this were a claim made in print, I’d name names and smack ‘em a good one right on the nose. I think that we’ll approach this differently. I’m going to suggest a generalized, “some disgruntled former members suggest” approach. We’re all about accuracy, and I can’t see sending someone off to a web site noted for its stupidity. Stupidity is catching. A goodly number who post to that site have the disease.
My aunt and uncle were down yesterday. It was hectic. They came right in the middle of a minor crisis. It was a good thing too. My pixie wings were flapping furiously and coloring a deep shade of frustrated dark purple. My car was making an awful noise with the engine turned off and no key in the ignition. Knobby Knees was in some meeting. I’m gritting my teeth and cursing every car manufacturer that ever existed. (I was muttering something about curses on their ancestors, their progeny for ten generations, and wishing them pimples on their butt, or something kinda like that.) So the tall, bald guy opens the hood. He stares into the tangle of engine, wires, pipes and stuff. He opens this black box thing. He taps a squarish box within the box, He pulls it out. The noise stops. He puts it back and the car resumes its ticking countdown.
“Did you leave your dome lights on?” he asks.
How would I know? I forget things, okay. People forget! So do pixies. I shrug my shoulders.
He says, “Let’s jump the car.”
Now if you’re not into the mysteries of car jumping, that involves a set of cables with clamps that attach from one battery to the other. He hooks all this up, and tells me to start my car. My car, being a perverse beast, will not start. He says, “That’s okay. Give it a few minutes.”
It’s almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so I toddle into the house and get some cold bottled water, passing it around to assorted children and other relations who all seem to be staring at my rebellious car.
“Try it now,” he says.
I do. It starts. The noise is gone. And yes … some careless pixie left the lights on. I hate cars. However pixies love pretty ribbons.
What a string of nasty things … Our heat pump went out yesterday. I’m waiting for the repair guy’s call. This is bad. All the money I saved for my oldest daughter’s senior pictures is going to go poof. I have a largish check coming from the School District. I will have to shuffle money.
On the good side are a series of more or less serendipitous finds. We’ve started a new chapter, which means re-reading material we’ve read before. As we do this we find dibbles of things we over looked. A key issue is the relationship of the Barbourite body to other Age to Come believers. There is a two sentence comment in a magazine published in 1879 that I never thought to connect to that issue. It popped out at me today, and I’ll add the point to an already finished chapter.
Finding biographical information for obscure people drives me to the brink of drink … Okay so I drink a lot of coffee! I confess. Today it’s a man named Samuel H. Withington. He died in 1907, and I have a brief obituary. It doesn’t tell me much.
Back, miss me?
Okay … since I wrote the above we’ve come up with a serviceable biography. It’s not as extensive as I would like, but it works. This is good. This added an entire sub-heading to an already mostly done chapter. This is how it should go … every day. If it went that smoothly, I’d be one happy pixie. Unfortunately, it seldom does.
My writing partner told me that he hates the microwave oven. He says watching the seconds scroll by is the same as watching his life tick by. He is a self-described “human antique.” The man has an under appreciated sense of humor. I’ll never look at the microwave in the same way again.
Somewhere along the line we shifted from being mildly irritating researchers to “world class experts.” I’m not sure when this happened, but it’s kinda nice to be thought an expert at something. Before this, I’m fairly certain the only thing I was expert at was alternatingly annoying and pleasing Knobby Knees.
We're suspending work on one difficult chapter. We need a rest from it. We started work on an easier to write chapter today, spending much time in email and in instant message conference. That didn't result in much writing, but what we did produce looks good.
I've been re-reading a magazine from the late 1870's, pausing now and then to add bits to already written chapters. I answered a nagging question about a chart. The answer was in plain sight; I'd read it maybe a hundred times and just didn't connect the information with my question. I found some information on early financing. It's all clouded over with partisan statements, but once you shave off the attitude you get to the truth of the matter. Part of this became a new paragraph in an already completed (as rough draft) chapter. The rest will go in the new chapter.
I found out that a Mr. H. W. Brown was born Heinrich Wilhelm Brun. That bit of information became a dependent clause. (so much work for so little!) As I've written before, the real story is often in the small details.
My WP sent me a list of contributions made by one individual between 1876 and 1880. This is dry stuff, but it put the lie to something written about him. (I knew in my heart of hearts it was a "skinkin' bloody" lie! (Over look the swearing, please.)
I paid eighteen dollars simply to find out if the Library of Congress can duplicate some tabloid sized papers. That's our government at work. Eighteen dollars just to find out how much it costs to copy something! However, the money was contributed. Thanks contrib. person! It still stinks! Are you listening to me Library of Congress people!? (Of course not. I have a reader who signs on from the Veterans Administration, and one or two from other government agencies, but as far as I know no one from the LC reads this blog.) Also I had to email the LC again to confirm that they received the payment information. I still haven't heard! (Dirty blankity-blank clerks!)
Oh, one good bit, though it turned into just a few sentences, was identifying a man named L. T. Logan. Mr. Logan was Levi T. Logan, a Civil War veteran and later a land lord in the Union Mills area of Indiana. He wrote a letter of very little note. What is important is to whom he wrote the letter and what his living and breathing says about what happened in Union Mills in 1877. (Remember, it's the details that matter. Think of it this way. Supposed you balanced your check book by rounding off to the nearest dollar. You'd end up with an approximate balance, but you'd be off. Not including the details takes you into generalizations, and they're usually wrong.)
I had ten minutes of panic time. I saved a document under the wrong name. Did I know I saved it incorrectly? Of course not. Pixie brains are not reliable. Pixie attitude may be, but the brains are not. Found it though. Again, all I did was add three sentences, but they made the story much clearer.
I've worked on this project since first light this morning. In between bouts of chat, typing, and grumbling, I've taken my dirty dishes to the kitchen. (Yes, yes, I ate my cereal at my computer.) I've washed a sink full of dirty cups and such. I've washed a load of smelly man-clothes. Do your socks smell like spoiled corn chips? Remind me to buy Knobby Knees some anti-sweat inserts for his shoes!
I'm still pouting because the boys off in New York haven't answered our letter. My W. Partner says to expect at least two more months. He knows how it works; I don't. From his point of view, the longer the better. I do not understand the politics of that at all.
I'd put on my Royal Guards dress uniform and go horseback riding, but horses intimidate me and the uniform is deep blue and not pink. I'm in a pink mood today. One of my aunts is coming for a visit next month. She'll stay most of a week. That will be fun. She usually brings a huge summer sausage and we snack on cheese and sausage while playing Clue.
I liked the limericks. Fun stuff. Goats, tail pulling, watering gardens! and being “friskey”! ... However, a lot of you did not write a limerick. ... This is a serious mark against your Irish ancestry, if any.
Well, I've spent most of today looking for fugitive facts. The net result was three sentences and a foot note. So this wasn't an especially productive day.
Some days things fall into my lap, and other days I cannot find what I want, not even a hint to its source.
Sometimes I expend a lot of effort to find one little thing, a fragment of information. Today I went looking for information about a small chapel in Michigan. I found it, eventually. Now you'd think knowing that it was a wooden structure that accomodated about fifteen people wouldn't be all that important. But the story is often in the details.
Along the way I found that the man who founded the chapel preached regularly at another church, but this was in the late 1890s and isn't relevant to our research. I found that he ran for political office and got 135 votes out of about four thousand. That's all I found.
A man with the same name is listed as an agent for a book company. I think this was his son. It's not important, and we won't use it. Oh, and I found a breif quotation in Humanitarian Review. It's attributed to this buzzard. (In my opinion he wasn't a nice man.) An article entitled "Truth Demands Debate" found in the May 1904 issue quotes this Mr. Paton (that's his name) as saying, "People must learn to discuss their religious differences without resorting to strife." It's a shame he never learned that lesson himself.
I found an Extra issue of his magazine. It's off in the Harvard-Andover Library. I emailed them for duplication costs. It'd be nice if they'd just copy it for free, but I doubt they will. The amount of things that we've found and want to read or see has piled up, and we can't raise the money for all of it. We're trying to be selective.
Remember I mentioned that Mr. Storrs in an earlier post? I located bunches of tracts and booklets that we haven't seen. We're waiting on a cost estimate now. The librarian who is helping us is swamped. (It's a very small college.) And she really extends her self for us. People like that are rare.
I reread one of the anti books that is supposed to be detailed history. There is good stuff in there, but it really is shallow. It is surprising just how bad some of the books and pamphlets are. My writing partner and I need to have another planning session.
Now on to other things ...
I got sick at work last night, but it was a quiet night and I didn't die or anything. No kickin' the bucket is always a good thing, I suppose. The highlight of the night was the appearance of three very drunk young women at about three a.m. I didn't see any of this first hand. I was in my office. But it's all captured by our video system.
So ... they pull into our parking lot, hop out of their car and head ... not into our building ... but down a grassy slope into the next property. There's a pond there, and a covered gazebo. We pick up just the edge of that with our cameras. Did I mention that they were drunk? Oh, yes, I did. Okay so they get down into what they think is a seculded spot, drop their britches and squat. If they were trying for privacy, they failed. Because they were loud, they drew the notice of our security. He did have the sence to wait until they pulled up their pants before shooing them off. I'm fairly certain it was best to wait, even if he got a very clear view of their scrawny, drunk butts.
People never cease to surprise me.
So much for that ...
I made hot sandwiches for dinner. It doesn't sound like much of a dinner, does it? But that's what they wanted, so that's what they got - except for Annie who wanted a hotdog "without the bun, okay mom?".
I've been saving my pennies. This weekend we'll go have Chinese food. There's a excellent Chinese buffet here. It costs a fortune to take us all out, so I've been dropping a few dollars into an envelope every week for a couple of months. It will be fun. I think I could live on fried rice and rice balls. Okay so I'd get bored with it after a while, but I would give it a good try.
A pixie limerick contest. No prize because all I have is a copy of my book and many of you already have that. Come on guys and gals, you can do this! Keep them PG (Mildly naughty is okay). Winner gets 20 seconds of Pixie Blog fame!
So … yesterday was my day off. I get two days off this week which is a rare occurrence. (…and I just discovered I really don’t know how to spell occurrence.) I was exhausted. I gave it all up at three pm for a nap and slept until midnight. This was both good and bad. I mean what do you do when you wake up at midnight and everyone else is sound asleep?
I got on my trusty computer and chatted with friends for a while. When I logged onto their chat I walked into the middle of an argument between one of my friends and some worm-infested Conspiracy Theorist stranger. He was serious but unconsciously funny. Did you know the US and UK armies have been infiltrated by bilderbergers and illuminati? I suspected as much! (Or not.) Anyway, I mediated in my own fashion. Humor can kill fools. Consider him dead and gone, having passed away in a fit of laughter.
So, after being in a Welcome Area chat for an hour, I’m bored with it but not tired. I say ‘bye to my friends and stare at a blank screen. It’s way too early for coffee. I’m not hungry. I’m not sleepy. I fire up Google Books and go hunting, repeating searches I’ve made before. Because Google Books adds new material daily, repeated searches are a good idea. And oh boy Nelly! I found things. …
I found an edition of The Plan of the Ages, a religious book published in 1886, that I had not seen. It was a very, very early edition with a three paragraph statement about the purpose and finances of a newly established tract society. This was good stuff. I opened up the word file for the appropriate chapter and added the material right there and then.
You have to be inventive with search terms. Authors misspell. OCR searches can be iffy, especially with older fonts. So use your imagination. I did and found some odds and ends of things. I found a first trade paper edition of a book published in 1897. Now I own three copies of this book. (It received subtle revisions over the years; if you’re a serious researcher you want each revision.) The copy on Google Books came from the New York Public Library’s religious pamphlet collection. What is interesting is a single sentence in the author’s forward. Finding this single statement would have been worth the entire early morning effort. I modified a paragraph in another chapter to include the point. It’s not as though we didn’t have the basic information. We did. What we didn’t have were the specifics found in that one sentence. We could use even more detail, but if it’s out there, I will be surprised.
By this time it was 0200 hours Pacific Time, time for one big yawn and thoughts of bed. But since I’m finding things, I persist. We will soon be in a chapter that details the moral and ethical decline of a man named Albert Delmont Jones. We have pages and pages of stuff on Jones, but there are areas that are dissatisfying. Jones published a magazine. First called Zion’s Day Star, he later changed the name to Day Star. He was ambitious. He wanted wealth, fame and political influence. What he got was a criminal record, a divorce for adultery, and a very bad reputation. He lost what wealth he had and died in obscurity.
In other words, he was a very interesting but distasteful man.
Now … there are almost no known copies of his magazine. My writing partner has been looking for copies for at least as long as I’ve been alive, probably longer. We have one copy, and it isn’t very helpful. So I go off searching. (over look the repetitious “so’s,” okay?) And I found something! When Jones started his magazine, he sent sample copies to libraries, charity reading rooms, and other magazines. One of these made it’s way to a British magazine published for the printing industry. The editor of The Printing Times published a comment. I loved the comment because it reflects my own opinion of Jones’ writing style. I pasted it into our history blog and, we’ll use it in the chapter about Jones.
Then … I gave it all up and crawled back in bed for a few more hours of sleep. Now … I’m back looking for stuff. Let’s hope I’m on a roll.
Oh I am liking my new Pixie story. … I’ve had to set it aside for the last two days, but I’m anxious to get back to it.
What if a pixie wandered into a library and discovered the children’s reading circle. …. What if the children’s librarian read a book about dragons. … And what if the librarian tells the story:
Probably because the Little One had been so intent and received the story so soberly, I focused on her. “Did you like the story, Annie?” I asked.
“Oh, yes,” she said. “But real dragons aren’t at all like that.”
An older sister to one of my regular story-time children snickered. “Seen a lot of dragons, have you?” she asked. It wasn’t unkind, but it was a teasing and slightly mocking comment.
“Not many,” she said. “But a few.” She was utterly sincere. Children can be even when the reality behind what they say is far differently perceived by adults.
“Tell us about your dragon,” the little sister – her name was Janet – pleaded.
What if the Library is destined to be a war zone? What if fairies will die there? What if the extremely tall man who appears to be the Little One's father isn't her father at all? What if he's one of the rescued half-pixies? What will our confused, pregnant librarian do?
If you write you’re familiar with the feeling that comes when you’ve found a story you can tell and tell well. It’s a lovely feeling. Remember my complaint about the librarian character who kept mutating into a grandmother? I fixed that problem and the story is moving ahead “swimmingly.” (I’m not sure exactly what that means, but it must be good, right?)
I solved the problem by simply making her pregnant. I can do that. She’s my character, right? So being ten weeks pregnant more or less keeps her from turning into a granny. Good story in the works, I think!
So that was the “Good.”
Also in the “Good” file is a pile of photocopies a kind librarian at a university in Cincinnati sent to us. This material has given me a head ache – which is not all that good. But the story it tells is really helpful. A One Faith (Church of God) believer responded to an article in a Disciples newspaper. The original article is missing, but there’s enough to know what was said. And let me tell you, brothers and sisters, the original article was religious nonsense. Hey, we’re talking Disciples. That explains it all. (Next week I’ll insult Methodists to even this out.) So a Mr. Cox wrote a critique which was duly published and a lengthy exchange ensued.
What makes this significant is that Mr. Cox, a One Faith believer, uses and cites as authoritative a Zion’s Watch Tower affiliated magazine, Zion’s Day Star. Now this is worthy of notice. It helps explain bunches of things. So, while I’m reading pages that alternate between turgid and florid, I’m takin’ notes and scheming to drop a paragraph - Maybe even two paragraphs – into a nearly finished chapter. Each bit of evidence like this helps shut the mouths of a bunch of polemicists who can’t tie their shoes even on a good day. Come to think of it, I’m not sure they’re any good with Velcro strips either.
Remember what I wrote a few paragraphs up about knowing you’re writing well? The opposite happens too. I deleted 12 pages from a chapter we have maybe 50 per cent finished. That’s a huge chunk of text. But it just didn’t do the job. It was too detailed in areas that do not matter and it rambled without getting to the point. So that’s all gone. We’ll write it again. Sometimes you have to make painful decisions. This, dear hearts, is the “Bad” of this post.
Now, on to the “Indifferent.” There are two items in this file. The first is how I feel. I’m blah, my legs hurt, I’m headachy and my allergies are trying to murder me. The second is the pair of fools I mentioned in a pervious post, Swede Boy and Chicago Boy. These gentlemen are depressed. They’re not used to scorn, and they believe themselves too smart to lose in any forum. They are, however, at a loss now. They’ve lost their sense of entitlement and self-esteem. One of these little boys (Not the sheep-loving, pedophile from Sweden) is a web administrator. They both think of themselves as computer whizzes. They whiz all right, just not that way. Diaper change time, boys.
Okay, Mr. Computer Genius, visiting this blog through a proxy may give you a sense of anonymity, but it really doesn’t work that way. You leave other obvious trails. You realize, of course, that I have been slapping you and educating you both since we first met. I win. You lose.
You’re trapped. You cannot let go of your interest in me. I feel indifferently toward you. But you really need to become a little entertaining or my passing interest – let’s just call it indifference – will fade to boredom.
Chicago boy leaves because FDC Hosting got it's hand stuck in the door. And Swede boy the pedophile returns. A couple of tag-teaming idiots. What's the matter, Swede Boy? The little boys in the stake park not talking to you any more? Your skate board broken? You break up with dolly the sheep?
I have been conversing with Bruce Schulz for several years now. He (and you) have been a tremendous help to me in my research and writing. You have access to Adventist and religious materials I haven't seen, and the material you have provided has enriched some of the biographical entries I have been writing. I hope some of the resources I have forwarded has also helped the two of you! ...
I wish I could write history with the voice that you have. I struggle with voice and style. I am too verbose, but I love to tell the story. Thank God for decent editors who can turn copy into presentable reading! My book, Biog. Ency of Church of God Pastors and Leaders is about to go to press. It has happened more quickly than I thought it would, and I wonder if I should have taken another year! Winding up the details has made me anxious.-J. S.
I know who you are. I have your name and address. You're not welcome here, now matter how interested your fat, retromingent self is in what I write. You won't find what you're looking for here. You won't find it in any other forum, at least not from me.
I won't stop you from coming here. Waste your time if you want. But be aware that I know exactly who you are. There is no peace between us. There never will be. Don't expect it. Don't ask for it.
I’m really stressing over the chapter we’re trying to write. It’s not that I have writer’s block. I have writer’s angst. Writer’s block is a “what the heck to I say now” day. Writer’s angst is an “I know what I want to say; I don’t know how best to say it” situation. And that’s where we are.
We’re in a spot where we’re going to poke holes in what almost everyone has written since 1920. This deserves a book length treatment, but we have maybe ten pages in which to rectify the record. Every thing we write looks like ten-day-old pea soup. It’s not that we don’t have great documentation. We don’t need more documentation. We have documentation oozing outa our pours. We need a really convincing way to say this that doesn’t offend people who have helped us (and who are merely mistaken) but smacks on the nose the fools who know better and perpetuate a myth to further their nonsense. Pixies hate nonsense.
There are multiple strands to millennialist belief. For this history only two of them really matter. The two groups intertwined, but they taught different doctrine and were not the same. The older of these groups is European Millennialism. This is arguably largely apostolic in origin. (I write that with reservations.) It traces its modern origin to men such as the German commentator Johannes Piscator and the Dutch theologian Campeius Vitringa. In England Joseph Mede adopted similar ideas. Eventually millennialism of this sort became identified among American prophetic students primarily with British commentators. They took a literal view of the Bible, rejecting fanciful prophetic interpretations that spiritualized the original words. In the late 18th and early 19th Century they were being called Literalists. The Literalist view was the standard view among American expositors from the colonial era onward.
The second strand was Millerite Adventism. While seen by many today as the root of modern Last-Times belief, it is not. Adventism is an aberration. It is not the main prophetic branch. Millerites were willing to spiritualize in ways Millennialists were not. Millerites reached out to British Literalists who soundly rejected the association. In the United States there was an interchange between Literalists and Adventists. Many of the early and most prominent in the Adventist movement came out of a Literalist background, and some of those returned to it after the failures of 1843 and 1844. Because some of the most prominent in the Literalist movement had been Adventists for a period, they continued to be painted with the brush of Adventism. This misrepresents what they were.
If one was a Baptist but became an Adventist, he did not remain a Baptist, did he? If one went from being a Baptist to Adventism and then to American Literalism, he did not remain an Adventist either. American Literalists or Millennialists were called Age-to-Come believers. Age to come belief and Adventism were only compatible because they both looked for the near return of Christ. The primary Age-to-Come group eventually adopted the name One Faith. Today it is best represented in the Church of God – General Conference (Abrahamic Faith), but there are other, smaller groups and independent congregations in that heritage.
When the Advent Christian Association was founded, the basis for fellowship was a basic belief in the near return of Christ. So members of both groups could be found within that Association, and some One Faith believers were found within that group. But the Advent Christians largely refused to fellowship with One Faith believers. They wouldn’t attend their conferences and were not happy when One Faithers attended AC conferences. By 1874 issues between them were serious, and by 1878 or so the separation was complete. In any event the years of association were brief and troublesome. One Faith congregations usually refused the name Adventist. It was a rare congregation that accepted it, and those that did are limited to a few “union” congregations where both types of belief found an uneasy home in one building.
Three or four things served to confound the two groups in the minds of outsiders and eventually among adherents. In the 19th Century few outside writers, particularly newspaper editors, were careful to distinguish between them. The only place one finds the distinction carefully made is in some of the religious press. In 1874 Isaac Wellcome wrote a history of the Second Adventist message. To seek historical legitimacy he presented a long list of prophetic expositors antecedent to the Adventist message as if they believed Adventist doctrine. In point of fact, many if not all of them were Millennial Literalists who would not have accepted Wellcome’s inclusion of them in a list of Adventist antecedent groups. Johnson borrowed from Wellcome and perpetuated that myth. By the 1920’s Adventists had a fixed view that almost every prior prophetic commentator was in their heritage. The view was and is a misrepresentation.
Beulah May Bowden’s thesis, History of the Advent Christian Church (University of Wisconsin, 1920) helped perpetuate that myth. She asserted uncritically that in the United States there were six different Adventist bodies, including in the list Church of God and Churches of God in Jesus Christ, both of which were Age-to-Come bodies that had historically rejected both Millerite doctrine and the name Adventist. She presents a list similar to Johnson and Wellcome’s of Adventist predecessors none of whom would have found Millerite doctrine compatible with their own belief.
Froom also perpetuated the myth. His massive Prophetic Faith of our Fathers does not carefully distinguish between Millennialism (Literialism) and Adventism when dealing with commentators from the pre-Millerite period. He discusses the matter rather imperfectly in an appendix to volume four, but the result is indifferent to historical events.
Few if any Age to Come/One Faith believers saw themselves as Adventists. The two bodies, even during the period of relative toleration were antagonistic, though One Faith tended to be more accepting than did Adventists. One Faith bodies did not show the same interest in their history that Adventists did. The period of awakening interest among them starts in the 1940s, and because of dependence on Adventist sources they were willing to assume the Adventist name. This would have raised an outcry a mere forty years prior. In the 1980s some notice was taken of their historical rejection of the Adventist name, but because some of their most prominent early adherents had been Millerites for a period, many of their writers continue to use the term Adventist. This is a mistake. We are not Adventists. We do not believe Millerite doctrine.
Our work, in the small space we have, is to restore to modern historiography the original distinction between Adventism and One Faith belief. It mattered in the 1870s in ways it does not seem to matter to modern writers. Because it mattered to those we profile, it is an essential distinction and an important part of the story we tell. Adventist “historians” have distorted the story, and many have been wiling to swallow a poisoned presentation. We are not willing to follow in that treacherous and distorted path.
This has been a busy and tiring day. I skipped all sorts of social engagements to stay home and write. The actual writing amounts to one short paragraph, but whoa Nelly! What work went into it!
I had a something I read months ago tugging at my brain, but where oh were had I read it? It took me ages to track it down. All that frustration was for a one sentence quotation, but it’s a good one! I also reread an article by a Church of God historian written in the 1980’s. It contains a fair amount of nonsense, though it isn’t worse than most other articles and books from the period. The useful bit of the article is a reference to a newspaper article from 1909. I located that too. We’ll also quote a footnote and with indifferent politeness brand it as self-serving tripe. If what’s written looks like poo, smells like poo, and decays exactly like poo then it is … well … poo.
I can see that we’ll have to move a chunk from one chapter to another. That’s always a pain, but it will improve the book immensely. The current chapter is giving me headaches, and it’s developing way too slowly for my mental well-being.
Oh, I also found a photo. Now this was good. S. A. Chaplin was a major figure. And, yes, dear hearts, there is a photo!
Our adventures with the New York Public Library continue. We need someone to visit the place and select the material in our behalf. We’re working on that in several ways. Hopefully we’ll have access sometime in a month or three or so.
The archivist wrote nice, flattering things to my writing partner. That was good. I can be flattered. Try it. Make me smile!
We’re considering calling for articles for our history blog. We haven’t made up our mind about that yet. There are only three people on there I trust to produce a quality product. We’re still talking about it.
I work a short shift tonight. I hope it’s a quiet one. Last night was misery. We had everything happen from vandalism to a well and truly drunk twit. But the police were out in force in our part of town last night, so most of those problems were resolved as quickly as possible. The also zapped a neighborhood menace. There’s a 20 something male who races up and down the street. The speed limit in front of the place I work is thirty-five miles an hour. He drives at least sixty or seventy. They caught him last night. Ah, the wonders of cell phones and cranky pixies. …
I read two more books. Unfortunately we’ll use neither for our classes next term, but they are rip-roarin’ fun. Both are by well-known – an excellent – writers. The first was Mary Stewart’s The Prince and the Pilgrim. I love her Arthur saga books. This is based on that series, but apart from it. Total fun. I loved the prayer of the child Alice because it reminded me of myself at a similar age. At five years of age she talks to God as if he were a grand friend, someone she caln discuss lizards and horses with and expect a hearing ear. I remember talking to God in the same way at near that age. This was lovely.
The other book was Stephen Coonts. It's Saucer: The Conquest. This is book two in that series. The interplay between the two main characters is fun. And there is an enemy to defeat …. He’s appropriately French … and a space battle to fight. Fun book.
Neither book meets other criteria. I wish they did. You should read these.
Dau 1: You’re not doing it right. You have to go ArrrRRRRghh and then say something about rigging or hatches.
Dau 2: Like this: “ArrRRRggghhhh, Avast there! Belay that.” Or something like that.
Dau 4: [Looking at older sisters as if they’d lost their minds.] Fine. You be the pirates if you’re so good at it …
Dau 1: You can be our parrot. …
Dau 4: [makes a face]
Dau 2: She can be the cabin boy.
Dau: 4: I’m not a boy …
Dau 1: Mom never told you, huh?
Dau 4: [Sticks out her little pink tongue]
Dau 1: Only a boy would do that.
Dau 4: [Repeats the gesture and plops her butt on a chair] Mom does it to dad. Mom’s not a boy. Besides, how do you know you’re not a boy ….
Dau 2: [Smelling blood] Yah, Arpita, how do you know you’re not the boy?
Dau 1: [Looks off into space. She’s thinking.] Do I look like a boy?
Dau 4: You look like that Toby Tyler picture on one of mom’s old books. Yes, you do.
Dau 2: [Nodds] I agree. Katarina is right, You’re probably a boy.
Dau 1: Not me! I don’t have chest hair. …
Daughter 1 is a pretty Bengali girl and does not at all resemble this picture. I'm adding this photo to keep dau 1 from being scandalized, insulted or otherwise put out. She does, however, resemble a pirate wench when she scowls.
This has been a crazy day. I’ve been busy all morning and into the afternoon. Very little of it has contributed much to our book – at least as far as words on paper goes. But research is writing too. As a musician once told me “rests are music too.” Translating that into the writing craft enlarges one’s view of writing. Research and thought are as important to good writing as is putting words on paper. In some ways, thought is even more important.
My writing partner wrote a critique of someone else’s work today. I read it and the work critiqued. Most of my WP’s comments were directed toward minor typographical errors. That’s always a good sign. We think this represents good basic research and deserves publication after some revisions. The major fault as my WP saw it was that some quotations are derived from secondary sources. We avoid that if we can. If you’ve ever played the whisper game, you know why. Plus some people are just liars. We meet up with fabricated quotations on a fairly regular basis.
I still haven’t found my wallet. This is peeving a pixie. I had to get a new insurance card and apply for a substitute driver’s license. The worst loss is my store credit card for a book store. I have one hundred and twenty five dollars in credit. It is not name specific. Anyone finding it can use it. However, I’m convinced that it’s hiding in my house somewhere, probably in plain sight. I feel dorky.
Occasional Reader, a really nice guy who posts here sometimes, referred me to an letter by a Hugh Brown Rice (The name reminds me of boxed instant rice for some reason) that was published in 1885. That was good.
We still haven’t heard from that ‘archive’ that resists sharing. My WP assures me that delay is not bad in this case. I am an impatient pixie, however. I understand we’re ploughing through layers of bureaucracy. (I also discovered I really don’t know how to spell “bureaucracy.”) I tend to make snap decisions and stick with them, seldom regretting them. But an organization has different decision-making challenges than an individual does.
I still expect a negative answer. If they decline to share, we’ll simply note it in a footnote in a neutral way and leave it at that. They aren’t the only group who has a policy of concealment, and I refuse to attribute motive when I’m uncertain of it.
The guy who fixed our front door did an excellent job. I’m very pleased, and the cost was quite low. A few years ago my sister retrieved her piano. We let her leave it in our house while she was working in Belgium. The movers smacked our front door and pulled the glass storm door loose from the frame. They fixed it then, but apparently not as they should have. The wind caught it (High winds rip through here sometimes) and pulled it away from the frame again. All fixed now. Looks good. We have to replace one of the closer mechanisms though.
You’d never find it if you looked, but I’m certain that something called the Esoteric Tea Shop exists. Probably it sells exotic herbal teas, other herbals, coffees and books, and nummy though sometimes oddly made pastries. I think that a fourteen year old set adrift and living with her aunt and uncle discovers the place. I’m pretty sure she has endless adventures that result from tea drinking and befriending the shop’s owner.
I went over to one of the opposition web pages today, referred there by someone who follows our research. Is it just me, or are those people sometimes on the really icky side? I can understand making religious choices and leaving your pervious religion. I have any number of distant and close relations who have done that. One of my favorite stories is of an archbishop who became a reformer so he could 1. Marry an appealing wench and father children and 2. Express his distaste at the imperial politics of the Holy Roman Empire.
Religious debate has always been a nasty affair. I’m sure we please God by burning people at the stake (when we could be burning a steak) or by maligning them. One comment that made me shake my head was from someone who thinks it’s funny to transmute the commonly given name for God from “Jehovah” to “Jehoober.” Hate the religion of you must, but do avoid making yourself appear stupid. One makes more points with respect than without it.
On the other side, the principal print voice of the religion in question paints all dissent with the label “apostate,” sometimes saying truly silly things. Debate has a place in religion. It should take place without fear. If you fear debate, you should reevaluate your faith and practice.
I sit on the curb and watch the fist fight. Neither group makes me totally happy, but I have to say that the adherents lead in points. Of those on this particular “anti” site, probably one percent show anything at all like common sense. Most of them seem to want to maintain contact with the sect in question. (Okay guys, I’m not using “sect” as a pejorative.) But they don’t want to maintain the standards of behavior expected of them. Some seem to have genuine issues with belief and practice, but most seem to have come to those issues as a result of expulsion for behavior issues, and self justification followed. My question is why they feel the need to justify themselves. Why not just say, “I didn’t want to live that way”?
Understand that I am not saying there are not issues to raise. There are. But using them to justify cheating on one’s mate, theft, drug use or any of the other things some of them have confessed to is stupid.
It’s all very puzzling and distasteful. Both sides need urgent “reform.” My bet is on the main body, though they are inflexible. Inflexible they maybe, but they’re not devoid of insight and sometimes really good sense. The anti-people often repel me. Apparently one of that number has started his own religion and has some sort of internet call in show. He was caught in outrageous behavior, having as a guest someone who said he was connected with the main body’s headquarters but was not. It was such apparent nonsense that others jumped all over him. He posts there as “Kool-aid man.” This seems an appropriate name, though not in the way he meant, I’m sure.
As proof he presented an organizational identity card for the faker. Guess what? You can find an example online and photoshop or some other photo editor can make it yours. You too can be a member of that group! (Do you understand why the word “stupid” keeps coming to my mind?)
Well, I’m here to document things, not to reform either group. I do not wish to debate with any of them. It is interesting that both sides have used our book on Nelson Barbour. As far as I know, neither of them has been able to turn it into a polemic. It’s good history, though it needs and is getting revisions.
I'm still reading YA books, trying to select which we'll use in our critical reading classes next term. I just finished Nancy Bond's A String in the Harp. I liked this book. I read parts of it twice. That's always a good sign of 'like.'
She managed to make me dislike a museum director. If you can make your readers like or hate a character, you've done your job well. Sadly, this book will go on the B list for now. It doesn't meet other criteria. But I'll certainly put it on the independent reading list.
If you haven't read it, you should. It may be for young adults, but this mommy-pixie enjoyed the book. It was a Newberry Honor Book, high praise all by itself.
From the NY Public Library: "Photocopies are $15.00 for the first 10 pages, $0.50 for each page thereafter. Photocopies are given for research purposes only. There are well over 700 items in this entire collection, which means they would cost at least 350 dollars. Materials range from receipts to contracts to letters, some of which cannot be photocopied, rather must be photographed, which is significantly more expensive."
We returned a lengthy email detailing our needs. Hopefully this will reduce the cost.
So ... my writing partner contacted the NY Public asking about photocopy costs for a collection of letters. He made it very plain that we would not be visiting, and that we just wanted to know photocopy costs for a small stack of papers.
Their first reply was. "Sorry, I can't help you at all. Contact these people." Fine. That happens. One must stand in the right line. So, WP finds the "contact" web-form and sends a new email. We wait.
A reply comes saying in essence, "We really don't want to help you at all. But if you insist that we do our job, go to this web page and fill out this 'when will you visit us form.'"
WP fills our form, notes on it that we will NOT be visiting and only want to know photocopy costs. Just to make it plain, he replies to the rather rude email which was signed by a man with a very foreign sounding name. I take that as a sign that it many not have been meant rudely. But do we get any sort of reply? Of course not. We wait and wait and wait.
Guys, your library is meant to sever the public. Do your job.
The NY Public goes on my bad-guys list along with Emory University and a few others.
Bad day for me today, and I’m cranky. I’m not too cranky to wish Harry a speedy recovery from the ick he’s got. Oh dear, I saw the video of his grandbabies. Sometimes pixies get baby fever. The cure, of course, is to count children at hand.
I’ve lost my pocket book/wallet thingie. I know it’s in the house, but I’ve looked every possible place for two days. I hid it well this time. My driver’s license, a credit card, my coffee card!, and my second county ID card are in there, as is my insurance card. No money. I keep my money is a pocket of my purse.
Anyone know what Braxton-Hicks contractions are? For the uninitiated, that’s a sort of practice birth contraction that a pregnant woman experiences. They usually aren’t painful, thought they can be. Your belly contracts and gets hard for a moment. (One always hopes it’s just for a moment, believe me.) So, unpregnant that I am, I’ve been having cramps very like that. It is related to my neurological condition, but it is new and irritating as heck.
Someone … who shall remain nameless … because I’d never want to embarrass someone who might be a sister of mine … sent me a youtube video entitled “our big white goat.” I have no clue why she sent it. There was no message in the email, just a link to the video. It’s a video about an Indian family’s big white … you got it … goat. It shows the proud owner, his neighbors, his children, the goat and all the little future goat girlfriends. That’s it. Total excitement, I’m sure, for the owner of the goat. Otherwise, my sister’s brain remains in its dysfunctional state. Such a curious woman.
One must admire the goat though. With all the screaming kids (Human type) and chattering Indian males, he is very stoic and tolerant. He even lets a little girl sit on his back without protest. If I were the goat, I’d probably say something like, “Kid, get off my back before I turn you into lunch.”